Why is it your favorite?

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py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
The ongoing thread about your favorite secular movie has left me, in many cases, wondering why people list what they do. It's naturally not feasible, unless your keyboard is permanently attached to your body, to write an essay about every film you like. But why is your favorite film your favorite? What makes it stand out? What do you value in it? Do you like it for intrinsic reasons (like plot/acting/theme) or accidental reasons (e.g., it brings back happy childhood memories).
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
My favorite film is No Country for Old Men. I love the Cohen brothers films and I feel like NCFOM is the closest thing to a perfect movie (Godfather might be a close second). The acting is superb, the direction is top-notch, and the script is excellent.
 

Caroline

Puritan Board Sophomore
I suppose I enjoy films which capture emotions and experiences to which I can relate. I love The Truman Show because it is probably the best illustration of an experience leaving a cult. The sensation that something is wrong, of being trapped, and finally the reckless determination to get out at all costs--all things that I remember very well. Also the music and acting are awesome.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
I feel like NCFOM is the closest thing to a perfect movie

I suspect that diffeing ideas a to what constitutes a perfect movie (i.e., what a movie should be) is one large reason for the diversity of answers. So what makes a movie more or less perfect?
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
Casablanca has it all: Drama, romance, humor, music, suspense, and a couple other minor elements, you know... Bogart and Bergman. Everything from the screenplay to the lighting is spot on.

It is THE classic movie, and each time I watch it I am just as captivated as before.
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
I suspect that diffeing ideas a to what constitutes a perfect movie (i.e., what a movie should be) is one large reason for the diversity of answers. So what makes a movie more or less perfect?

When I watch a movie I want to be told a story. I want that story to engage my emotions (love,hate,fear,pity,sympathy,indignation, commendation, etc. ) and call out my principles (right, justice, mercy, self-sacrifice, etc.) and challenge my assumptions, as well as reenforce what is good and noble in humanity.

That being said one of my favorite movies (brace yourself, I am serious) is UP! It runs through the whole gamut of a long life which experiences along the way timidity, love, tragedy, heartache, change, courage, devotion, and joy.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
Caroline, your intrinsic and accidental reasons have persuaded me to watch that movie when I get a chance.

Thanks, Bob. That’s a very clear statement. And I agree completely about UP! It is quite wonderful.
 

Kim G

Puritan Board Junior
I, too, love The Truman Show. But for me, The Village was the movie that reminded me of my time as an Independent Fundamentalist. I love it because it shows the impossibility of separating from sin that is "out there" because sin is actually "in us." The ending also illustrates the verse that says "Perfect love casts out fear."

My favorite movie of all time is Disney's Beauty and the Beast, mostly because of nostalgic reasons. It was also the first Disney princess movie that I saw where the girl was admirable for the right reasons and where the relationship between girl and boy developed over time instead of love at first sight. Oh, and I love the songs.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
My favorite movie of all time is Disney's Beauty and the Beast, mostly because of nostalgic reasons. It was also the first Disney princess movie that I saw where the girl was admirable for the right reasons and where the relationship between girl and boy developed over time instead of love at first sight. Oh, and I love the songs.

My favorite song is the one about Gaston in the pub.

[video=youtube_share;NcvtPuxZxc0]http://youtu.be/NcvtPuxZxc0[/video]
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
Either they are my favorites because they are very funny without being (arguably) vulgar (Pink Panther movies, Elf, Nacho Libre...) -

or, they move me by showing the best that human beings can be/inspire me to go on (Casablanca, Last of the Mohicans, that Christmas movie with Clarence the Angel, To Kill A Mockingbird)-

Additional pluses are for good romance (Last of the Mohicans, Casablanca. . .) and interesting historical info (Mohicans again, Casablanca again, Gods and Generals. . .)
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The Producers is just plain hilarious In my humble opinion. It pokes fun at cougars, nerds, hippies and Hitler...and more.
 

Goodcheer68

Puritan Board Sophomore
My favorite movie of all time is Disney's Beauty and the Beast, mostly because of nostalgic reasons. It was also the first Disney princess movie that I saw where the girl was admirable for the right reasons and where the relationship between girl and boy developed over time instead of love at first sight. Oh, and I love the songs.

My favorite song is the one about Gaston in the pub.

[video=youtube_share;NcvtPuxZxc0]http://youtu.be/NcvtPuxZxc0[/video]

I often burst out singing that song. The song is hilarious.
 

Stargazer65

Puritan Board Freshman
My favorite movie of all time is Disney's Beauty and the Beast, mostly because of nostalgic reasons. It was also the first Disney princess movie that I saw where the girl was admirable for the right reasons and where the relationship between girl and boy developed over time instead of love at first sight.

One of my wife's favorites for the same reason. Belle is the only disney princess we allow for the girls to get related merchandise.

We never allow Ariel merchandise because the little mermaid movie message was "she disobeyed her father and all her wishes came true".
 

Unoriginalname

Puritan Board Junior
I always like the Good the Bad and the Ugly because I believe so much of the movie is in the music and landscapes. Novels will always have more developed plots than books but a movie can incorporate many sensory elements that a book cannot. I feel that the Good the Bad and the Ugly does this so well.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
That's an excellent point, Eric. Movies can employ shape, light, and color in service of ambiance, theme, and story. I like movies that are not ashamed to be beautiful, and where the kind of shapes, light, and color are integral to the development of scenes, characters, and the overall plot. That is why Zhang Yimou and Pixar films are so often among my favorites.
 

Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
My favorite movie of all time is Disney's Beauty and the Beast, mostly because of nostalgic reasons. It was also the first Disney princess movie that I saw where the girl was admirable for the right reasons and where the relationship between girl and boy developed over time instead of love at first sight.

One of my wife's favorites for the same reason. Belle is the only disney princess we allow for the girls to get related merchandise.

We never allow Ariel merchandise because the little mermaid movie message was "she disobeyed her father and all her wishes came true".

The Pastor of the church I used to attend said that he would rather have his children (although I believe all his children were grown by the time he became a Christian) watch a movie with a couple swear words than a Disney movie that promotes disobedience to parents.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Cinema is the lowest art form

I beg to differ on this one. Film is as capable of complexity and artistry as any other medium. One of my favorite films is Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal as an exploration of comparisons between faith and unbelief, between hope and despair.

I always like the Good the Bad and the Ugly because I believe so much of the movie is in the music and landscapes.

I also find it simply hilarious in that Leone will drag a scene on and on with buildup for maybe five or ten seconds of payoff. If it was the product of a bad director it would be laziness, but Leone knows exactly what he's doing and makes it work really well.

I tend to look for a good combination of things like plot, good writing, technical and visual power, good acting, and good editing. And then there's the whole range of things that one can touch on with regard to themes and symbolism, which are capable of a lot more subtlety in film, sometimes, than even in literature.

One of my favorite films is The Third Man, which was directed by Sir Carol Reed, written by Graham Greene, and starred Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. The plot is suspenseful and unpredictable, the writing is excellent, and the timing (particularly of the strangely upbeat score, played on a zither) is phenomenal. And the camera work is . . . well, the crew of the film gave the director a level to put on his camera after filming finished: there is not a single shot that isn't at a strange angle, and it works very well. As for the themes---just watch for yourself. It's also a good picture of the state of postwar Europe (most of the film was shot on location in Vienna).
 

Theoretical

Puritan Board Professor
For me, I'd have to say several things about several different films:

My current top 3 (in no particular order) would have to be these:

The Incredibles
The Lives of Others
The Great Dictator

For The Incredibles, I appreciate how Pixar is able to make animation a viable art form for telling a story that adults can appreciate. There's a lot of subtle family interaction, tension, and support that really shows itself, along with a heavy dose of good social satire. It's probably my most watched and rewatched film because it's also my best friend's favorite movie.

With The Lives of Others, what I most appreciate is the fact that it accurately conveys the fear, suppression and stifling of humanity that a totalitarian surveillance state affords its citizens. The actor playing the lead Stasi agent in the film was actually a prominent East German actor in the 1980s who discovered after the unification of the country that his own wife had been a collaborator, so it is a particularly poignant portrayal. What I most appreciated is how the film portrays some of the kind of small forms of resistance to totalitarian states that actually has happened, as well as consequences. Yet as it shows the consequences, the viewer's all the more encouraged to start living in truth, even if it's harder (it evokes several great themes from Vaclav Havel's classic The Power of the Powerless). And the ending is sublime.

Finally, for The Great Dictator, the historical context alone makes it a courageous film - as Charlie Chaplin created, directed, and starred in this satire of the 3rd Reich pre-WWII. Artistically, it shows that Chaplin was able to translate his artistry in silent film to the talkie, while using silent techniques to rich effect. It was courageous in that it wasn't simply a parody of a bunch of militaristic types, but sought to point out the dangers to Europe and free peoples everywhere by what the regime was doing.
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
The Searchers because, well... it's The Searchers.

Ok... dramatic, heart-rending, comedic, romantic, suspenseful, expansive, redemptive plot, powerful cinematography, memorable dialogue, and of course, John Wayne. What more could you ask for in a movie?
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
The Man Who Knew Too Little simply because the type of humor that most gets me is the classic misunderstanding. The entire movie he's thinking one thing is going on and everybody else is thinking another, and I love it. I don't know why that's my type of sense of humor, but it is. Sort of like Three Amigos, if you've seen that, only I love The Man more.

I didn't add this to the other thread, but the latest BBC movie version of Emma is also one of my favorites. I had liked the book but it wasn't in my top ten or anything, but the movie was so sweet and the casting was perfect. Actually, watching the movie made me appreciate the book more (which is backward for me) and leaves me with such happy thoughts that I just love it. Prior to seeing that I would have said BBC's latest Jane Eyre, which was always one of my favorite books. But seeing Emma and feeling happy really trumped my Jane-Eyre love.
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
To be honest, one of the things that sticks out to me about a good movie is the theme of redemption. I love it, because whether the atheist film maker realizes it or not he is paying homage to God by realizing that things are wrong and need to be made right, even if at times that redemption takes a secularized form.

Let me give you a good example of a movie that really pays homage to Christianity (and even Calvinism) whether or not the directors and writers (in this case, the same people) intended it: The Matrix
-Neo is "chosen" by Morpheus, when he thinks he's the one doing the choosing
-Neo comes to realize that all this time he has been living in slavery in an evil and maligned system, of which he was a part without consciously realizing it (How many people have you run into whom you have confronted as being sinners, and they inisist your label should be on somebody else who is worse than they are?)
-It is only through Morpheus and the resistance fighters that Neo is able to break free from the Matrix, and even after that, he is dependent upon them to recover from his "dead" state.
-It is through the resistance that Neo learns who he is, and how to handle himself accordingly.
-Neo, once released, thus returns to the world of the Matrix, but no longer as a "part of the system" (in the world, not of the world)

And on it goes.

Yes, I realize that The Wachowski brothers are probably not Christians, and may not even be deists. Yes, I realize there's profanity and taking of God's name in vain in the movie-you run into that everywhere you go in the real world (sometimes in the church unfortunately). But the point is that, whether they realize it or not, they are communicating ideas and truths of Scripture without realizing it. They're unconsciously bearing the image of their (and our) Creator, even if they reject Him.
 

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
To be honest, one of the things that sticks out to me about a good movie is the theme of redemption. I love it, because whether the atheist film maker realizes it or not he is paying homage to God by realizing that things are wrong and need to be made right, even if at times that redemption takes a secularized form.

Let me give you a good example of a movie that really pays homage to Christianity (and even Calvinism) whether or not the directors and writers (in this case, the same people) intended it: The Matrix
-Neo is "chosen" by Morpheus, when he thinks he's the one doing the choosing
-Neo comes to realize that all this time he has been living in slavery in an evil and maligned system, of which he was a part without consciously realizing it (How many people have you run into whom you have confronted as being sinners, and they inisist your label should be on somebody else who is worse than they are?)
-It is only through Morpheus and the resistance fighters that Neo is able to break free from the Matrix, and even after that, he is dependent upon them to recover from his "dead" state.
-It is through the resistance that Neo learns who he is, and how to handle himself accordingly.
-Neo, once released, thus returns to the world of the Matrix, but no longer as a "part of the system" (in the world, not of the world)

And on it goes.

Yes, I realize that The Wachowski brothers are probably not Christians, and may not even be deists. Yes, I realize there's profanity and taking of God's name in vain in the movie-you run into that everywhere you go in the real world (sometimes in the church unfortunately). But the point is that, whether they realize it or not, they are communicating ideas and truths of Scripture without realizing it. They're unconsciously bearing the image of their (and our) Creator, even if they reject Him.

Well said. I like this movie for these same reasons.
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
For me, I'd have to say several things about several different films:

My current top 3 (in no particular order) would have to be these:

The Incredibles
The Lives of Others
The Great Dictator

For The Incredibles, I appreciate how Pixar is able to make animation a viable art form for telling a story that adults can appreciate. There's a lot of subtle family interaction, tension, and support that really shows itself, along with a heavy dose of good social satire. It's probably my most watched and rewatched film because it's also my best friend's favorite movie.

With The Lives of Others, what I most appreciate is the fact that it accurately conveys the fear, suppression and stifling of humanity that a totalitarian surveillance state affords its citizens. The actor playing the lead Stasi agent in the film was actually a prominent East German actor in the 1980s who discovered after the unification of the country that his own wife had been a collaborator, so it is a particularly poignant portrayal. What I most appreciated is how the film portrays some of the kind of small forms of resistance to totalitarian states that actually has happened, as well as consequences. Yet as it shows the consequences, the viewer's all the more encouraged to start living in truth, even if it's harder (it evokes several great themes from Vaclav Havel's classic The Power of the Powerless). And the ending is sublime.

Finally, for The Great Dictator, the historical context alone makes it a courageous film - as Charlie Chaplin created, directed, and starred in this satire of the 3rd Reich pre-WWII. Artistically, it shows that Chaplin was able to translate his artistry in silent film to the talkie, while using silent techniques to rich effect. It was courageous in that it wasn't simply a parody of a bunch of militaristic types, but sought to point out the dangers to Europe and free peoples everywhere by what the regime was doing.

If my mind is working properly, doesn't CC quote scripture at the end of The Great Dictator?
 
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Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
I know I'm bumping this up from a few days ago, but I really wanted to post the trailer and explain why Platoon is my favorite movie. The music is phenomenal (particularly Adagio for Strings) for one, secondly the movie was directed by a Vietnam war veteran (Oliver Stone) giving it a reality that isn't given in a lot of war films.

The first real casualty of war is innocence, the first real movie about the war in Vietnam is Platoon
[video=youtube;pPi8EQzJ2Bg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPi8EQzJ2Bg[/video]
 
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